Sometimes the coveted collector’s item, a video game or the collector’s edition of a film, is not available in Germany or the item is a lot cheaper abroad. However, customs fees can throw a wrench in your plans. Here we will show you what you need to consider when importing and how customs works in Germany. The following information only applies to private individuals.
When does a package end up at customs?
Not every package from abroad is intercepted by customs. If you order a single Blu-ray, it is unlikely that you will be asked to go to customs. Things are different with, for example, large Collector’s Editions that you order on the release date. There are often so many packages coming into the country at the same time that customs are happy to follow up due to the frequency.
But you can never be sure whether a package will pass customs or get stuck. Even if the sender generously affixes the invoice on the outside, which shows a low value of the goods, or declares the package as a gift, customs can still inspect every shipment.
Are there customs duties in the EU?
Actually there is in transportation no import taxes within the EU internal market (customs duties, import sales tax) more. So, for example, if you order a game from Amazon FR or an eBay retailer that ships from a European Union country, your package should usually not end up in customs.
Nevertheless, the customs administration evaluates shipments from abroad and, under certain conditions, customs still reserves the right to reject certain mail items also within the EU. To do this, the customs authorities are allowed to open the package and check whether there are any goods inside subject to excise tax or violate legal prohibitions or restrictions in Germany.
Goods with excise duty & restrictions
These goods subject to excise tax in Germany:
Alcoholic beverages (spirits, brandy, beer, sparkling wine, intermediate products & alcoholic sweet drinks) Coffee or goods containing coffee Tobacco products (cigarettes, tobacco, etc.) Energy products (petrol or diesel fuel)
These goods are subject to certain restrictions in Germany:
Medicines Dual-use goods (goods that can be used for civil and military purposes) Fireworks Cultural goods Weapons and ammunition
Further information can be found directly on the customs website.
Customs duties outside the EU
For example, if you want to import something from the USA, Great Britain or Japan, you should To be on the safe side, always include customs feesbefore you order. Otherwise, the supposed bargain quickly becomes an expensive pleasure. The amount of import taxes and when you actually have to pay customs depends on several factors.
The decisive point for import taxes is the value of the ordered items. It should also be noted that the… Shipping costs are included in the value of the goods become. So if you order an item for 10 euros, but the shipping costs are 20 euros, the value of the goods will be charged as 30 euros.
When do you have to pay customs? In principle, all goods from third countries are subject to import sales tax (VAT) in the amount of: 19 percent or 7 percent (books & food).
The exemption limit of 22 euros has been abolished since July 1, 2021. For goods with consumption tax, the respective tax (tobacco tax, coffee tax, etc.) also applies. For goods over 150 euros The duties are calculated according to the customs tariff. The customs fees are then added up to the individual taxes. The customs value also depends on the type and condition of the goods. The customs fees are then added up according to the common EU customs tariff and the national tax rates.
Gift shipments from abroad can have a value of up to 45 euros duty free be. Shipments are only considered gifts if no consideration or comparable substitute service is provided and they are sent from a private person to a private person. Gift shipments with a value of goods between 45 and 700 euros can use the flat-rate tax rate of 17.5 percent be calculated.
A notice: Shipments with applicable customs fees could be returned if you send them to a packing station have it delivered. To get your imported goods, it is better to use your home address.
To calculate customs duties, you can use the customs duty calculator yourself. But you should only use this information as a rough estimate so that you can find out what additional costs you will incur.
In addition, many take Postal and courier services one Service fee for customs declaration and advance payment of duties. You can read more information about this here: